Fine Sydney diners at the top of their game.
Welcome to fine dining, the 2022 edition. Where everything is just that little more comforting. Where slivers of tender kangaroo meat might be chargrilled tableside and placed on puffy, yielding little naan. Where tacos, infused with kelp and filled with Balmain bug, come finished with cape gooseberry, Yarra Valley trout roe and shreds of shiso leaf. We can't wait to go back.
27 O'Connell St, Sydney, 02 8214 0505, thebentley.com.au
Bentley Restaurant and Bar. Photo: James Brickwood
Welcome to wood-fuelled fine dining. Few can bend ingredients so perfectly to their will as chef Lennox Hastie. Marvel as he takes a marron, splits it in two, and gently teases the sweet flesh over flames till it's just-set. Or wraps the head of a Murray cod in paperbark and cooks its cheeks down to rich striations.
23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, 02 8204 0800, firedoor.com.au
Federico Zanellato lives in a world of umami. The Italian-born, Japanese-inspired chef works with sea urchin, caviar, porcini, koshihikari rice, truffle butter, miso, shiitake, lobster and quail. Dish after dish flows from the kitchen like a parade of magic tricks, as lights from the glass-walled restaurant glitter on the harbour like fireflies.
56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont, 02 9571 1999, lumidining.com
You'd think that Peter Gilmore would run out of surprises after 20 years at the helm of this glamorous, immaculately run harbourside restaurant, but no. A journey of six or eight courses is all thriller and no filler, from bone marrow noodles tangled with ribbons of squid and sea cucumber crackling, to sea-sweet lobster with ginger-scented milk curd like a glorious chawanmushi.
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, 02 9251 5600, quay.com.au
Quay restaurant. Photo: Supplied
Chef Daniel Puskas's tasting menu invites quiet contemplation, from opening comte croissant to closing canele. This is smart, considered cooking – but never too clever for its own good – enhanced by an impressive wine list, charming service and handsomely appointed room.
3 Percival Rd, Stanmore, 02 9572 6666, sixpenny.com.au
Sixpenny restaurant in Stanmore. Photo: Supplied
The It Lists are brought to you by Citi
This article features in the Good Food Guide 2022 magazine, published on November 30 with presenting partners Citi and Vittoria Coffee, and free with The Sydney Morning Herald. Also on sale from December 7 in newsagents and supermarkets.